One of the most common questions that patients routinely ask is how to choose the right breast implant—how big you can go or what is the most appropriate implant for you. I have created a series of five videos that will explain step by step how to choose your breast implant. In this first video, we are going to discuss how to choose the breast implant diameter that is appropriate for you. We are not going to discuss anatomical-shape implants, but round implants.
Round breast implants are almost circular in shape. The diameter of a round implant is the most important measurement; it measures how wide the implant is if we draw a line through its center. Implant size changes the volume of the implant, so the larger the diameter of the implant, the more volume the implant will have.
So, what implant diameter will be the best for you? There is one basic measurement that you can do at home to determine this. This measurement is called the breast base, or the width of the breast. In this diagram, the yellow line shows the width of the breast. The width of the breast is measured from exactly where the breast starts, close to the midline, all the way to the side. So, you can take a ruler and measure your breast base. The width of the implant you choose should be similar to your breast base measurement. For example, in this diagram you can see that the circle is the implant. The implant width should closely match the yellow line that indicates the breast base or breast width.
Once you have measured your breast width, you will have a clearer idea of the range of breast implant dimensions that will fit your breast and chest anatomy. We are going to use Mentor implants as an example. They have a table with all the implant sizes. You can find the table on my website, www.drhourglass.com
I recommend that you print this table. The first thing you see at the top of the table is whether the implant is silicone or saline. In this particular table, we have assumed that you decided on silicone implants, but the same concept applies to saline implants. In the next row, what is the implant profile? I will discuss this in the third video, but let’s assume that you choose a high-profile implant. We will zoom this table. As you can see, there are three columns. On the left side is the implant volume. Then there is the implant diameter, and then there is the implant projection. Don’t worry about the last one; let’s talk about the first two.
Let’s assume that you measured your breast diameter and the measurement is around 11.4 cm. Remember, you can do this very easily with a ruler by measuring basically the width of your breast. Once you have this number, you go to the table that you downloaded from my website and look for the implant diameter that closely matches this number. For a diameter of 11.4, the implant that is recommended is a 325 cc implant. Now, this is not necessarily an absolute number, since we can vary this volume. In this particular patient, we can go 50 cc to 75 cc in both directions; in others there may be a range of 250 cc to 400 cc.
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